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LOLCats: A Persistent Internet Phenomenon

September 17th, 2008

lolcats.jpgUnless you’re still stuck with dialup, you’re probably familiar with LOLCats: pictures of animals (usually cats) with funny captions. Most of these pictures are humorous – if, that is, you can translate the LOLCat shorthand that most caption writers use. This article by Sarah Borroum describes the different types of pictures and captions that comprise this curious Internet phenomenon.

Turning LOLCat language into understandable English is not difficult if you understand the shorthand. Here’s what you really need to know to laugh yourself silly over some of the most popular pictures on the Internet.

Bukkit (bucket). This is an inside joke. Basically, walruses are on eternal quests for buckets (probably because they contain fish). “Were is mah bukkit?” has been the caption for more than one LOLCat – whether it’s a walrus, feline, or some other animal.

Ur (you’re/your). This LOLism appears in a popular LOLCat formula: “I’m in ur _____, ______ing your ______. Fill in the blanks as appropriate. “I’m in ur base, killin ur doodz” is a fun LOLCat, as is “I’m in ur PC, boosting ur RAMZ.”

Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat are two cats representing good and evil. Some LOLCat captions indicate that these two kittehs (kitties) have cult followings. Oh. And Ceiling Cat watches you when you’d really prefer that he look away. Just so you know.

Monorail Cat began as a very large kitty perched on a railing. Over time, Monorail Cat branched out by adding cars (kittens) and even a subway line. Be warned, however, that Monorail Cat does not always run on time – or ensure that every passenger safely arrives.

“I can has” (may I have). LOLCats often use this caption to request everything from cheeseburgers to litterbox cleanings and more. Be warned, however, that the kittehs in the pictures are not actually asking: they’re really demanding, as cats are known to do when they want something.

A flavor (I has one). LOLCats often report on a flavor – typically their own. “My toes…they has a flavor” is a common LOLCat, but these kittehs are also known to taste your food, the dog and even each other.

Invisible _____! It seems that LOLCats enjoy many activities – without the appropriate equipment. LOLCats ride invisible bikes; participate in invisible parades and hold invisible fishing rods.

Ur doin it wrong (you’re doing it wrong). Sometimes, a LOLCat will tell you that you are doing something wrong. Maybe you are not feeding him properly. Perhaps you have failed to produce the food on time. Whatever the problem, LOLCats are there to tell you that you are a failure.

Terrible puns are also common LOLCat themes. A kitty with a paper-towel pirate hat on his head might tell you that you, too, would feel bad if you had a Bounty on your head.

These are just a few of the most common “themes” in LOLCat captions. Get online and search for LOLCats. You’re sure to find plenty of adorable kitties building forts, killing ur doodz, begging for fuds (food) and saying “kthxbye” (okay, thanks, good-bye) to the dog as it leaves for the evil veterinarian’s office.


One Response to “LOLCats: A Persistent Internet Phenomenon”

  1. comment number 1 by: Nicole

    Kittehs in ur website, bein a artikal.

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